A standing-room-only crowd filled the meeting room of the Lincoln-Way District 210 school board Thursday night as parents, veterans and JROTC cadets pleaded for the Junior ROTC program's survival.
The Air Force program is at all four high schools in the district, but budget constraints are prompting district administrators to discontinue JROTC. As first reported by Patch in January, the program will be consolidated over the next few years and eliminated entirely by 2018.
See Also: Petitions Started to Save JROTC
"There are 8th graders now that aren't going to be able to do the program," said Emma Albers-Lopez, a sophomore JROTC student. "There are 7th graders, 6th graders, here are kids who are never going to be able to experience this."
District officials say the program's annual cost to the district is $500,000, with the Air Force kicking in an additional $260,000."This is not an easy decision to make," Arvid Johnson, Lincoln-Way 210 school board president, told the crowd.
See Also: Students Up in Arms Over Elimination of JROTC